This year I officially became a senior citizen. I turned 65 this past January. I am now on Medicare, and I am collecting social security as well. I am an AARP member, and I get discounts at various establishments. Yes, some of these milestones and events occurred before I reached 65 as there are various definitions of a senior citizen, but being 65 makes me a senior citizen by any definition.
I am also starting to feel the physical effects of being a senior citizen. I have minor aches and pains which I deal with by a dose of extra strength aspirin, if needed. I am trying to eat better with more salads and such. I am exercising more with fitness walks and doing sets of push-ups. I need to do more in this area, but exercising is not my favorite activity, I admit. If I liked it better, I would be in better shape. I do feel good about myself when I do exercise. It is just hard for me to get started. I am noticing one benefit of my doing the push-ups. The bags that contain my GED materials for the GED classes I teach have become lighter. How is that for results? Maybe there is something to this exercising after all.
I am also trying to keep my mind active as I can. Teaching my GED students certainly keeps my mind active. I have to be at the top of my game when a student comes to me with a question, especially a math question. I enjoy helping students understand how to solve a problem. It is so cool when they do understand. You see that light bulb turn on, and a smile breaks out on their face. It is moments like that that keep me in the teaching game. I play a computer game called 7 Little Words on my Nook tablet everyday, and I read a lot, the "Post" every morning, magazines, and books. One fear of mine concerning getting older is the fear of getting some form of dementia. Maybe I should not feel this way, but I am proud of having a somewhat sharp mind. It is a major part of who I am. I don't want to lose that aspect of myself, and that is the reason I fear dementia. By keeping better care of myself both physically and mentally, I hope to keep that dementia devil away as long as I can.
The biggest senior citizen problem I am dealing with right now is my vision. I have cataracts. I have had them for quite a while, but this year they are causing real problems with my vision. I can no longer drive at night. The cataracts are causing glaring by the headlights and taillights of the cars. It is impairing my night vision to such an extent that I don't think it is safe for me to drive at night. In less than two weeks I will have an evaluation appointment with a cataract surgeon, and hopefully I will have cataract surgery and will then be able to see much better. When I made the eye appointment, they told me not to wear my contacts for two weeks prior to the appointment. Contact lenses change the shape of the eyeball, and they want my eyeballs to be in their normal shape. That means everything is a little blurry for me. I can drive okay without my contacts, but it certainly is not optimal. Because of this, I am taking the train to Lynchburg tomorrow, and my ex-wife Jill will be doing the driving to Williamsburg on Monday (Yes, I said my ex-wife. I am very lucky that we are still good friends.). I will come back home on the train the following Saturday. I am certainly looking forward to seeing better.
Being a senior citizen will have its ups and downs, just like any other part of being alive. Certainly it is a lot better than the alternative. They say these are the golden years. I hope these coming years are golden for me. We will just have to see.